P-400 Airacobra

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P-400 Airacobra
General characteristics
1 personCrew
3.5 tTake-off weight
3.26 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
9 500 mCeiling
Allison V-1710-35Engine
waterCooling system
Speed of destruction
886 km/hStructural
322 km/hGear
Offensive armament
20 mm Hispano 404 cannonWeapon 1
60 roundsAmmunition
701 shots/minFire rate
2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 2
540 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 3
4 000 roundsAmmunition
1 001 shots/minFire rate
11 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
38 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 100 / 1 412/2 700 / 3 466/1 010 / 1 296Repair
11 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
38 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
250 Ge icon.pngAces
124 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
470 % Sl icon.png290 % Sl icon.png80 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American fighter P-400. For other versions, see P-39 (Family).


GarageImage P-400.jpg

The P-400 is a rank II American fighter with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.37.

The P-400 is the "little brother" of the P-39's and P-63's. Reaching maximum speed at 2,400 m (7,900 ft) means you will have to look for enemies below you, or sacrifice speed to meet the opposition higher up. At medium & low altitudes it can be considered quite a fast plane for its BR range. It handles turning at higher speed rather well but can become quite unstable at lower speeds. Watch out when engaging in stall fighting, hammerheads & yo-yos. The P-400 can survive at high speeds while diving, yet will suffer from compression. The plane is suitable for high speeds attacks where you work with more with horizontal than vertical movements. Keep your speed up!

The P-400 has good weapons consisting of one 20 mm cannon with 60 rounds and two .50 cals and four .30 cals. If you have a good aim, you can kill enemies in seconds, but if you don't the limited cannon ammo will run out in about 10-15 seconds. The .50 calibre will still destroy foes reasonably quickly, though the .30cals require the right amount of consistency and concentrated fire.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 2,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
553 536 9 500 23.2 24.1 6.9 6.9 320
Max Speed
(km/h at 2,400 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
603 576 9 500 21.2 22.0 13.3 9.7 320


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
420 ~12 ~9
Optimal velocities
< 360 < 380 < 450 > 312
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,677 m 1,000 hp 1,150 hp

Survivability and armour

Armour plates:

  • 15.87 mm Steel - Ring Behind propeller
  • 15.87 mm Steel - 2 on the left and right sides of the nose
  • 7 mm Steel - Fore-cockpit plate
  • 7 mm Steel - Cockpit front
  • 38 mm Bulletproof Glass - Cockpit front
  • 64 mm Bulletproof Glass - Behind Pilot
  • 7 mm steel - Cockpit Rear
  • 6 mm steel - Behind cooling systems and engine

Critical components:

  • Cooling and Engine are in the middle of the plane
  • Propeller shaft spans nearly the entire length of the aircraft


Offensive armament

The P-400 is armed with:

  • 1 x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannon, nose-mounted (60 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, nose-mounted (270 rpg = 540 total)
  • 4 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (1,000 rpg = 4,000 total)

Usage in battles

Try using energy tactics at low altitude and Boom & Zoom to dispatch targets if you are at high altitude. In Domination matches, this plane comes into its environment with dogfight furballs occurring in which the P-400 can intervene. Use the excellent energy retention to your advantage and avoid any type of turn fighting, as even a F6F Hellcat would be able to out-turn your aircraft.

Never try to contest bomber altitude when you have it stock - it just lacks the engine power to compete above 4,000 meters, and even as a spaded aircraft, it still doesn't perform as well as the Spitfires and Bf 109s at similar battle ratings. If you're ever forced to dogfight, use the rudder and elevator to pull yourself into a sort of climbing spiral, which the P-400 is exceptionally good at thanks to its powerful engine.

The Hispano cannon once on target will easily take out fighters and most bombers with even a short burst, or at the very least, cripple it. However, if there is any good fighter pilot on the enemy team, they will climb and try to secure high altitude. When you see them in more agile aircraft, your only option is to dive away and begin to strafe the furball down low. Beware that many planes in this battle rating range, including the Cannon Ishak, outperform this plane in at least one, if not more categories, but this plane usually has more than one advantage over every plane it will face (i.e. it is faster than the Spitfire Mk 1a and out rolls it).

Use the advantages of this plane - its high speed, great rudder, powerful engine, superior armament, and terrific initial turn at high speeds. However, don't use it in a way that exposes its weaknesses - bad low-speed handling, weak turning, and poor climb rate - in combat, like when you are getting Rope-a-Doped, just flip over with an Immelmann and Turn & Burn.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm Offensive 12 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs New 12 mm MGs
III Wings repair Engine Offensive 20 mm
IV Engine injection Cover New 20 mm cannons

Pros and cons


  • Fast plane up to ~3,000 m (12,000 ft)
  • Decent turn time (especially at higher speeds)
  • Good pool of machine gun ammunition
  • Good stopping power with all weapons active
  • Nose mounted 20 mm cannon (centre line mounted weaponry equals good accuracy)
  • Well armoured
  • Cockpit has good visibility
  • Carries a total of 7 guns with three slightly different trajectories, resulting in a high hit probability with at least one of them
  • Hispano cannon is more accurate and reliable than the 37 mm cannon
  • Excellent rudder control even at high speeds
  • Powerful engine


  • Very low ammunition for 20 mm cannon
  • Machine guns, the .30 cal and the .50 cal has no separate trigger
  • Ammo counter represents the total amount of machine gun ammo, not the particular calibre
  • Gets pilot killed very easily due to the bubble canopy design
  • Suffers a lot from compression
  • Becomes quite unstable at low speeds
  • Fuel cells are stretched across the wings, resulting in fairly common fires
  • The engine is centrally mounted, taking engine damage while being chased is common


While the YP-39 and the P-39C were being test-flown, Bell Aircraft began work on an export version of the Airacobra known as the Bell Model 14. It was to be powered by a 1150 hp Allison V-1710-E4 engine which had twelve exhaust stacks on each side rather than the usual six. France was sufficiently interested that they ordered 200 Model 14s on October 8, 1939.

All of the media hype surrounding the spectacular performance of the XP-39 prototype had caught the attention of the British Direct Purchase Commission which had visited the USA in 1940 in search of combat aircraft. Seduced by promises of 400 mph top speed, a tricycle undercarriage, heavy cannon armament, and high climb rates, the British ordered 675 examples of the Airacobra. Unfortunately, Bell's glossy advertising brochures did not distinguish between the performance of a lightly-loaded, unarmed, highly-polished experimental prototype and a production fighter heavily-loaded with military equipment and armament, and the British were to rue the day that they ever looked at an Airacobra.

In 1940, the British were desperate for combat aircraft and were willing to consider just about anything that had wings, irrespective of how poor its performance might be. Consequently, when Bell submitted specifications to the British Direct Purchase Commission for a fighter with a top speed of 400 mph, a ceiling of 36,000 feet, and a range of 1000 miles, the Commission literally salivated on the spot and ordered 675 Bell Model 14s sight unseen on April 13, 1940.

The RAF model was at first named Caribou, but the American name of Airacobra was adopted in July 1941. The British Airacobra was virtually identical to the American P-39D, but the slower-firing 37-mm cannon was replaced with the faster-firing and more reliable Hispano 20-mm cannon with 60 rounds. Two 0.50-inch machine guns were mounted in the fuselage, and four 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the wings. The engine of the Model 14 was the 1150 hp Allison V-1710-E4 (-35). The British serials of the Airacobras were AH570/AH739 (170 planes), AP264/AP384 (121 planes), BW100/BW183 (84 planes), and BX135/BX434 (300 planes).

Bell began test flying the first Model 14 Airacobra I in April 1941. It carried the British serial number AH570. Tested on the second British Airacobra (AH571) was a revised rudder of more angular shape and less area. Although the aircraft was delivered to England in this form, this rudder was not adopted as standard. A very small dorsal fin just ahead of the rudder became a standard feature of the RAF Airacobras and was also a distinguishing feature of the American P-39D and subsequent versions.

President Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act on March 11, 1941, permitting large quantities of war supplies to be transferred to the Allies. Among the early requisitions under Lend-Lease were three P-39Cs intended for "war tests" plus a batch of 150 Airacobra IAs--the A suffix being used to distinguish between Lend-Lease and Direct Purchase machines, which were otherwise identical. In the event, only the three P-39Cs were ever delivered as British machines, and were assigned the serials DS173/DS175 (USAAF werials 40-2981, -2983, -2984). The P-39Cs could be distinguished from the British Airacobras by the four machine guns in the nose and the lack of wing guns.

The first of these P-39Cs actually arrived at RAF Colerne on July 3, 1941, followed by the other two the next day. It made its first test flight in England on July 6. However, during trials at Duxford, the performance proved disappointing. Although the test pilots praised the general ease of handling of the aircraft, the maximum speed was a shocking 33 mph lower than that anticipated. The fighter proved to be definitely inferior to the Hurricane and Spitfire in climb rate and ceiling, and the 750-yard takeoff run of the Airacobra excluded its operation from some smaller fighter airfields. There was universal shock and dismay among the RAF personnel. What had gone wrong? Bell Aircraft executives later sheepishly admitted that their performance figures had been based on the unarmed and unequipped XP-39 prototype, which weighed a ton less than the armed and equipped P-39C.

The first British-purchased Airacobras began arriving at Colerne before the end of July, joining the three P-39Cs already there. Deliveries of the Airacobra to Britain had to be made by sea, since the Airacobra lacked the range to make the Atlantic crossing. By the end of September, eleven machines had been received. No. 601 "County of London" Squadron was selected to be the first Fighter Command squadron to equip with the Airacobra.

No. 601 Squadron pilots found numerous flaws and weaknesses during their initial work-up with the the Airacobra. Some of them were a question of improving operational efficiency and pilot comfort, but others were considered essential to make the aircraft operational. Numerous modifications were made in the field in an attempt to make the aircraft suitable for combat. A master valve was introduced to allow oxygen to be turned on from the cockpit. The gunsight was modified to improve forward visibility. Changes to the ammunition tanks for the wing guns were made. Modifications were made to the cockpit harness release in order to simplify the operation. The IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) set was removed from behind the pilot, where it obstructed aft view. A throttle control quadrant friction damper was introduced.

The Air Fighting Development Unit received a British Airacobra I on July 30. They subjected it to tests and completed their report on September 22. They found the aircraft to be pleasant to fly and easy to takeoff and land. Controls were well balanced and although heavier than those of the Spitfire at normal speeds, did not increase appreciably in weight at high speeds as they did in the Spitfire. It was difficult to hold the aircraft in a dive at high speeds unless the aircraft was trimmed nose-heavy. During a turn, the Airacobra would give ample warning of a high-speed stall by severe vibration of the whole airframe. Handling in formation and formation attacks was good, although deceleration was poor because of the plane's aerodynamic cleanliness. Take-offs and landings in close formation were not considered safe, since there was considerable difficulty in bringing the aircraft back to its original path after a swing.

The Airacobra I was powered by an Allison V-1710-E4 twelve-cylinder V in-line engine rated at 1150 hp for takeoff. Weights were 5462 pounds empty and 7845 pounds normal gross. Maximum speeds were 326 mph at 6000 feet, 343 mph at 10,000 feet, 355 mph at 13, 000 feet, 341 mph at 20,000 feet. Initial climb rate was 2040 feet per minute. With an internal fuel capacity of 100 Imp gal the Airacobra had an endurance of 1 hour 20 minutes at maximum continuous cruising speed at 6000 feet, 1 hour 5 minutes at 12,000 feet, and 1 hour 35 minutes at 20,000 feet. The true airspeeds at these altitudes were 287 mph, 327 mph, and 308 mph, respectively. Under most economical cruise conditions, the endurance increased to 3 hours 20 minutes, the relevant speeds being 183 mph at 6000 feet, 217 mph at 12,000 feet, and 215 mph at 20,000 feet. Under maximum continuous climb conditions, it took 15 minutes to reach 20,000 feet. The operational ceiling was considered to be about 24,000 feet, although there was a marked decrease in performance above 20,000 feet. At the Airacobra's rated altitude of 13,000 feet, it was 18 mph faster than the Spitfire VB. However, the speed fell off rapidly above that height, and the two planes were almost exactly matched at 15,000 feet. At 20,000 feet, the Spitfire VB was 35 mph faster and at 24,000 feet it was 55 mph faster. The ground run of the Airacobra during takeoff was 2250 feet, as compared with 1470 feet for the Hurricane II and 1590 feet for the Spitfire V.

The AFDU also did some comparative dog-fighting tests with the Airacobra against a Spitfire VB and a captured Messerschmitt BF 109E. The Airacobra and the Bf 109E carried out mock dog-fighting at 6000 feet and 15,000 feet. The Bf 109E had a height advantage of 1000 feet in each case. The Bf 109, using the normal German fighter tactics of diving and zooming, could usually only get in a fleeting shot. The Bf 109 could not compete with the Airacobra in a turn, and if the Bf 109 were behind the Airacobra at the start, the latter could usually shake him off and get in a burst before two complete turns were completed. If the Bf 109 were to dive on the Airacobra from above and continue the dive down to ground level after a short burst of fire, it was found that the Airacobra could follow and catch up to the Bf 109 after a dive of over 4000 feet. When fighting the Bf 109E below 20,000 feet, the Airacobra was superior on the same level and in a dive.

A similar trial was carried out against a Spitfire V. Although the Airacobra was faster than the Spitfire up to 15,000 feet, it was outclimbed and out-turned by the Spitfire. Unless it had a height advantage, the Airacobra could not compete with the Spitfire. If on the same level or below, at heights up to about 15,000 feet, the Airacobra would have to rely on its superior level and diving speeds and its ability to take negative "G" without the engine cutting out. Above 15,000 feet, the Airacobra lost its advantage in level speed.

The Airacobra was considered to be very suitable for low altitude operations because of the excellent view and controllability, and it was fully maneuverable at speeds above 160 mph. It was not difficult to fly at night, but the exhaust flames could be seen by another aircraft flying three miles to the rear. The flash from the nose guns was blinding, and could cause the pilot to lose not only his target but also his night vision. Firing of the nose guns caused the buildup of carbon monoxide contamination in the cockpit, and this could reach a lethal level very quickly. The guns were fairly inaccessible, and maintenance was troublesome.

By the end of September, No. 601 Squadron had received permission to take its Airacobras into action. On October 9, two Airacobras took off from RAF Manston and flew across the Channel on a "rhubarb"--a code name for a small-scale raid by fighters against targets of opportunity. On this raid, they shot up an enemy trawler near Gravelines. The next day two Airacobras visited the same area, but found no targets. On October 11, two aircraft flew to Gravelines and Calais and hit some enemy barges and then three Airacobras flew to Ostend, but no targets were found.

After these four missions, the RAF Airacobras were taken off operations because of difficulties encountered with the compass. The compass was too close to the guns in the nose, and when the guns were fired, the compass got thrown out of alignment. Deviations of anything from 7 degrees to 165 degrees were recorded. Without a reliable compass, pilots tend to get themselves lost. In December of 1941, the Airacobra was officially withdrawn from operational service with the RAF.

In spite of the problems with the compass and the need for flame dampers for the exhaust and flash suppressors for the nose guns, the RAF concluded that the Airacobra would make an excellent day fighter at altitudes below 20,000 feet and was well suited for the ground-attack role. However, before these plans could be implemented, a decision was made to divert the bulk of the British Airacobra contract to Russia.

By the time this decision was made, production of British-contract Airacobras had reached four a day at Bell's Buffalo plant. The initial contract for 170 planes (RAF serials AH570 thru AH739) had been completed before the end of September, and all but six of these planes had actually been shipped to Britain. However, many of them remained in their crates and were shipped directly to the Soviet Union without being opened. Somewhere between 80 and 100 Airacobras were assembled and flown in Britain by the end of 1941. They were gathered at maintenance units for final modification before being re-crated and shipped to the Soviet Union during 1942. In all, the Soviet Union received 212 of the British Airacobras (some of them shipped direct from the USA), but 49 more were lost at sea en route.

No 601 Squadron relinquished its 13 Airacobras in March of 1942 in favor of Spitfires. One Airacobra was fitted with an arrester hook and was used for deck landing trials at the RAE at Farnborough.

After Pearl Harbor, the USA found itself in desperate need of aircraft to stem the Japanese onslaught in the Pacific. Consequently, nearly 200 of the British direct-purchase Airacobras still in the USA were promptly requisitioned by the USAAC. Although they were similar to the USAAC's P-39Ds, they were not identical and were known by the USAAC under the non-standard designation of P-400. The P-400 designation had, in fact, been associated with the British Airacobras for contractual purposes as early as August 1941. The USAAC P-400s retained their original British serial numbers and their three-color camouflage paint. Most of these planes were used for training stateside, but some of them were rushed to the Southwest Pacific in an attempt to stem the onrushing Japanese advance.

The P-400s also saw some use closer to Britain. 179 of the Airacobras sent to Britain were re-acquired by the USAAF and were sent to North Africa to join the Twelfth Air Force.

Disposition of RAF Airacobras

AH573 crashed Feb 11, 1942 from Boscombe Down.  Engine failure just after takeoff. Pilot killed.
AH576 in belly landing Aug 29, 1941
AH581 crashed after engine failure Nov 21, 1941.
AH582 crashed during aerobatics Oct 19, 1941.  Pilot killed.
AH596 in forced landing at Colchester Sep 29, 1941.
AH602 crashed during aerobatics Jan 12, 1942.
AH603 crashed on takeoff Dec 12, 1941
AH733 delivered to RAF, but transferred to USSR

Disposition of P-400s

AH728 (c/n 14-159) transferred to USSR.  Reports that it was lost at sea, but other reports have it
	actually having been delivered.  There are reports of this plane being diverted to Austraila 
	and condemed there Sept 3, 1944.
	AH737 not delivered to Britain, To USSR.  There are reports of this plane being diverted to
		Australia Mar 1942, and condemned there Apr 13, 1943.
AP266/268 to USAAF
AP274 to USAAF
AP278 to USAAF
AP280 to USAAF
AP287 to USAAF
AP290 to USAAF
AP291 to USAAF
AP295 to USAAF
AP297 to USAAF
AP300 to USAAF
AP304 to USAAF
AP305 to USAAF
AP319 to USAAF
AP322 to USAAF
AP326/346 to USAAF
AP335 to USAAF.  crashed landed Aug 2, 1943 at Lakekamu River, PNG
AP347 to USAAF.	force landed Aug 20, 1943 at emergency strip with 36th FS of 8th FG.  Retrieved by RAAF Chinook and
			now rests at the Jackson's Airport Pilots Club in a fenced enclosure.
AP348/357 to USAAF
AP359/360 to USAAF
AP361 to USAAF.  Pilot bailed out near 14-Mile Drome PNG Jun 18, 1942.
AP362/383 to USAAF
BW100/105 to USAAF
BW107/108 to USAAF
BW110/117 to USAAF. 
	BW114 was c/n 14-306 and came to Australia Apr 1942 for conversion for RAAF.   Damaged
		Feb 10, 1943, condemned Apr 1, 1944.
BW118 delivered to RAF and returned to USAAF
BW119/130 to USAAF
BW134/148 to USAAF
BW150/168 to USAAF
BW169 to USAAF.   pilot bailed north of Port Moresby PNG Jun 18, 1942.
BW170/183 to USAAF
BX135 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX136 to USAAF. condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX137 to USAAF. wrecked at Tontouta AB, New Caledonia Jun 7, 1942
BX138 to USAAF. wrecked at Tontouta AB, New Caledonia Jun 9, 1942
BX139 to USAAF.  condemned Oct 27, 1943
BX140 to USAAF. condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX141 to USAAF wrecked Jan 28, 1942 at Margualo Station.  Pilot bailed out OK.
BX142 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX143 to USAAF.  condemned Apr 27, 1943
BX144 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX145 to USAAF.   to CL-26 Mar 19, 1942
BX146 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX147 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX148 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX149 to USAAF.  condemned Mar 23, 1943
BX150 to USAAF.  wrecked Jun 8, 1942 at Tontouta AAB, New Caledonia.
BX151 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX152 to USAAF.  wrecked Jun 8, 1942 at New Caledonia.
BX153 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX154 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942.
BX155 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX156 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX157 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX158 to USAAF.  condemned Mar 23, 1942
BX159 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX160 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 1, 1942
BX161 to USAAF.  condemned Nov 25, 1942
BX162 to USAAF.  condemned Mar 23, 1943
BX163 to USAAF.  condemned Dec 28, 1942
BX164 to USAAF.  surveyed Jan 24, 1944
BX165 to USAAF.  With 8th Fg, 36th FS, engine cut out and crashlanded short of runway, Durand, NG May 24, 1943.  Condemned May 27, 1943
BX166 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX167 (c/n 14-359) to USAAF.  surveyed Jul 14, 1944
BX168 to USAAF.  condemned Oct 27, 1943
BX169 to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX170 to USAAF.  condemned Aug 30, 1942
BX171 to USAAF.  surveyed in USA Jul 15, 1945
BX172 to USAAF.  to RFC in Cincinatti Feb 10, 1945
BX173  to USAAF.  condemned Sep 3, 1944
BX174 (c/n 14-415) to USAAF.  condemned Nov 23, 1942
BX187 ended up with USAAF in UK in 1942
BX192 to USAAF.  to RFC at Rome, NY Aug 8, 1945
BX204 to USAAF.  off inventory Feb 29, 1944
BX206 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Mar 20, 1945
BX209 to USAAF.  salvaged Aug 17, 1944
BX210 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Feb 29, 1945
BX216 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Apr 4, 1945
BX227 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, Mar 16, 1945
BX245 to USAAF.  to RFC at Rome, NY May 8, 1945
BX247 to USAAF.  off inventory Aug 26, 1944
BX270 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Feb 29, 1945
BX279 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Mar 24, 1945
BX290 to USAAF.  condemned Jul 8, 1944
BX302 to USAAF.  Shipped overseas after Oct 1943. Returned to USA Jul 30, 1944.
	To RFC at Rome, NY May 8, 1945.  There is a photo of this aircraft in Soviet AF colors.
BX310 to USAAF.  to Italy Feb 11, 1946
BX320 to USAAF.  crashed May 27, 1944
BX323 to USAAF.  surveyed in USA Mar 2, 1944
BX326 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Mar 20, 195
BX327 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ 
BX345 to USAAF.  salvaged Jun 12, 1944
BX348 to USAAF.  to RFC at Yuma AAF, AZ Mar 16, 1945
BX409 to USAAF.  to reclamation at Luke AAF, AZ Mar 13, 1946 

BX424 to USAAF. salvaged Nov 9, 1944

In-game description

A single-engine all-metal monoplane fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable tricycle landing gear with a nose leg. The aircraft had an unusual layout, with the engine placed behind the cockpit.

The aircraft was designed by the Bell Aircraft design office under the direction of R. Woods and H. Poyer. The experimental model XP-39 took its maiden flight on 6 April 1938.

The first overseas order came from France in October 1939. The French were in urgent need of rearming their fighter forces, and bought as many fighters as they could from overseas. However, the order was not fulfilled before France's capitulation in the summer of 1940. After the capitulation, all outstanding French orders for military vehicles were redirected to Britain.

The high flight characteristics of the experimental XP-39 also drew attention from the British buying committee in the USA. Seduced by its tricycle undercarriage, powerful armament, high climbing rate and promises of high speeds of up to 640 km/h, the British ordered 675 airplanes, including the 200 from the French order.

The fighters produced for Britain had the designation model 14A and were powered by the 12-cylinder air-cooled Allison V-1710-E4 engine with a maximum output of 1,150 hp.

The model 14A's armament consisted of a 20 mm British-Hispano M1 cannon with 60 shells, two large-caliber synchronized Colt Browning M2.5 machine guns on the fuselage with 200 rounds each and four British 7.7 mm Colt-Browning Mk.II .303 machine guns on the wing surfaces with 350 rounds each.

In the RAF, the model 14A fighters received the designation Airacobra Mk.I. However, when the British received the first Airacobra Mk.Is in the summer of 1941, tests revealed that rather than the high-altitude interceptor they had expected, they had actually received an unexceptional medium-altitude fighter, albeit with a powerful engine. At the same time, the fighter's maneuverability and responsiveness received good ratings.

In December 1941, the British Air Ministry decided to remove the Airacobra Mk.I from service. By this time, 164 of the fighters had been sent to Britain.

After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the US requisitioned the fighters which had not yet been shipped to the British or were still in various stages of assembly.

In December 1941, 179 of the aircraft went into service in the USAAF with the designation P-400. They kept their British camouflage and organizational numbering. The majority of these planes served within US territory as training vehicles, but a number of P-400s took part in combat operations in New Guinea and North Africa.


A joke which may (or may not) have been used by the British in WW2:

Why is the P-400 called the P-400?
Because it's a P-40 with a Zero on its tail![1]


See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.


  1. Copied from War Thunder Forum "Schlechte Witze mit War Thunder Bezug" - 'Bad jokes with War Thunder related content', no source was given by the forum user. Topic is named/about "Bad jokes".

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc